Are You Ready to Quit Heroin? Here’s How it’s Done

Among the numerous issues facing the modern healthcare system, addiction is among the most serious. There are countless people all over the country who are dealing with addiction to alcohol, drugs, and other dangerous substances. There has been a lot of attention paid to addiction over the past few years. The evaporation of the stigma surrounding addiction and the new diagnostic and treatment options have already helped numerous people all over the world. One of the often-overlooked addictive substances is heroin. This is a dangerous drug that can lead to serious side effects that leave individuals and families everywhere looking for answers. Fortunately, those who are looking for a way to quit heroin have a few steps they can take to get themselves, and their families, moving in the right direction.

An Overview of Heroin

When it comes to this drug, there are a handful of things that everyone should keep in mind. First, heroin is a potent opiate that works on the brain to trigger a powerful reward effect. When heroin is ingested, it causes the brain to release a set of chemicals that make people feel good. Some of the examples of these substances include dopamine and endorphins. Furthermore, this reward system is actually so powerful that about 25 percent of all people who try heroin for the first time are addicted instantly.

This reward system is important because these chemicals are actually necessary for survival. For example, they help people cope with pain, hunger, and other difficult situations. Unfortunately, the brain actually responds to heroin in a similar way. Eventually, people get to the point that they actually cannot function without the drug. Furthermore, when people do try to stop, they start to develop withdrawal symptoms. This makes the process of quitting even more difficult.

Signs that an Addiction has Formed

If someone has become addicted to heroin, there are going to be a few common symptoms that people might demonstrate. First, one of the major signs is that the person continues to use heroin even though the drug has caused major problems in his or her life. It might impact their job, school performance, and relationships with family members and friends.

Next, people who are addicted to heroin often try to quit but fail multiple times. This can bring a lot of frustration to the individual, causing him or her to feel down and hopeless.

In addition, those who are addicted to heroin will start to have cravings. When they have gone without heroin for a long time, their body will start to trigger the feeling of wanting, hunger, or demand for the addictive drug.

Finally, people who are addicted to heroin will often develop a tolerance to heroin. This means that they will require more of the same drug to achieve the same effect. When they go without the drug for a while, they may also start to develop withdrawal symptoms. These can take the form of chills, shakes, sweats, and more. People who are developing these symptoms when it comes to heroin need to know that professional help is available.

Getting Help for an Addiction to Heroin

Because of the reward system that heroin triggers, this addiction can be one of the most difficult to treat; however, heroin addiction treatment is available and people can quit with the right support. It is important for people to rely on the support of their loved ones, as this will play an important role in helping someone cope with the addiction emotionally. Then, it is a good idea to trust the professionals when it comes to addiction treatment. Heroin is challenging to break and there are professionals who have helped people break their heroin addiction in the past. There are outpatient options, partial hospitalization programs, and inpatient treatment options that can help people flush heroin, and its side effects, out of the system, helping people feel as good as new. Even though there are going to be significant challenges when it comes to this process, breaking heroin’s hold is possible.

Breaking an Addiction to Heroin

These are a few steps that people can take to try to break their addiction to heroin. This is a dangerous drug that can lead to dangerous side effects. The symptoms of withdrawal, along with those that accompany an overdose, can be life-threatening. Therefore, anyone who is looking to break their addiction to help should rely on the experience of trained professionals. Breaking an addiction to alcohol and drugs, such as heroin, is a difficult task and those who are suffering from addiction need to know that they do not have to face this problem alone. The support of family members, friends, and trained professionals can help someone get on the road to recovery.

If you or a loved one are struggling with heroin addiction, contact us today. At Quest 2 Recovery, our goal is to help you free yourself from the chains of addiction. Our friendly and professional staff is waiting on your call.

PTSD And Addiction In First Responders

First responders have a grueling job. They see things that most people may not ever even have nightmares about and many first responders do not have access to the therapy and the help that they need to be able to effectively deal with these horrible circumstances and the stresses they deal with each day.

First Responders and PTSD

PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, is far more common in first responders than you might imagine. These brave men and women go headfirst into circumstances that most people would run from. They see people hurt, they see people dying, they see people that have lost their fight and they deal with the carnage that is left behind. As a result, PTSD is terribly common among first responders and is more likely to develop the longer a first responder is on the job and the more that they deal with.

On top of all the things they see, they also have a job that is high in stress which can have adverse effects on the overall health and mental state of our first responders. For some, drugs and alcohol are a welcome reprieve from the pain, suffering, and mental anguish that they deal with on a daily basis. To add insult to injury, many first responders also deal with depression and have no real means of being treated and of seeking therapy or other means of help for these disorders.

Treatment Options

The first step to treating addiction in anyone is to determine what the addiction is and to take the time to address it on a person by person basis. What might work for one person may not work for a first responder and vice versa making an individualistic approach important. Once you have established that there is a problem with substance abuse and that treatment is needed, it is important to find an approach that is right for each addict.

Depending on what type of first responder you are working with, you may need to talk to supervisors and other higher officials to determine just what type of treatment is needed so that the first responder can return to work should the want to. With PTSD, it is going to be necessary not only to treat the addiction to any substances that might be being used, but also to treat the PTSD, depression or any other mental diseases that the individual might be dealing with at the same time.

These first responders may want a private treatment that is not going to put them in the public eye, they may need special care that allows them to continue work when they are not in treatment, and they are going to need special handling. Being a first responder is difficult, being a first responder that is also dealing with drug and alcohol addiction is even harder.

Unique Approach

A treatment facility like Quest 2 Recovery offers unique treatment options that are tailored to the individual rather than to the masses. They create treatment plans that are both inpatient residential and those programs that allow the patients to go about their daily lives while still getting the treatment that they need.

They use therapy, detox, group support, exercise and more all in an effort to create a program that is going to work for each particular patient to provide the most success and the best rates of healing. It is the goal of recovery to allow patients to have the treatment that is going to work best for them and that is going to promote life long healing and recovery.

PTSD is not something that can be healed in one fail swoop. It is an ongoing battle and if the patient is continually exposed to the conditions and events that encourage and foster the PTSD it will only get worse. There are plenty of first responders that have gone down the path of substance abuse and many that have not been given an adequate chance to recover. Exclusive rehab options that take into account the type of work these people do each day, rehab that takes personality and disposition and more is going to be far more effective than a one size fits all rehab that does not really make a difference.

Specialized care is something that can help first responders to deal with their addiction and to actually get better. Addiction is not something that we have to deal with, if you or someone you love is addicted to alcohol, drugs or other substances and they are also dealing with PTSD, a specialized approach is going to make a big difference. With the right treatment, anyone can deal with addiction and become happy, healthy, and free of the burden of addiction and the pain it causes.

Stress & Addiction: How they fuel each other

In the United States, 8 out of 10 people consider themselves stressed. Whether it be an internal force that causes their stress, like overthinking or fear of missing out, or external factors like family problems or troubles at work, there are a myriad of ways that stress can creep into our lives. According to the American Psychological Association, the top stressors of Americans are money, work, the economy, family responsibilities, relationships, personal health concerns, housing costs, job stability, health of loved ones, and personal safety, in that order.

With that in mind, what coping mechanisms do people utilize in order to manage their stress? Some might exercise more to alleviate their stress. Others might meditate. But for those with addiction, stress could become a trigger for their vice.

What is Stress?

Stress is the feeling of pressure mentally and how the body responds to it. Stress can be due to strenuous circumstances that make life more difficult, but it could also be the body’s inability to cope with its surroundings.

What is Addiction?

Addiction is the brain choosing a substance or behavior for the feeling that it provides despite the often negative consequences of use. The first addictions that come to mind are typically drugs or alcohol, but there are many other types of addiction. Addiction is not about the use of a bad substance, but the mind’s dependence of use of any substance. Here are some examples of substances that people can become addicted to:

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Cannabis
  • Inhalants
  • Opioid
  • Sedatives
  • Stimulants
  • Tobacco and Nicotine

Here are some behaviors that people can become addicted to:

  • Binge-eating
  • Shoplifting
  • Sex
  • Gaming
  • Gambling
  • Shopping
  • Smartphone Use

While it is possible to see that the excessive use of a substance or action is bad for your health or wallet, it is important to understand that treating the addiction is not about what you are addicted to but the feeling that you are addicted to.

Are Stress and Addiction Related?

Yes. In the cases that stress can affect addiction, stress is referred to as environmental factors. Think about how many people say they need a drink after a bad day at work. There are people who need to smoke a cigarette after an argument with a coworker or family member. There are others who insist that a day at the casino or some consumer therapy will help alleviate any stressful situation that they may have. While not all people who exercise this use of substance or behavior in response to stress are addicted to the substance or behavior, these environmental factors can be a trigger to those with addiction to use their vice as a way of coping with their stress.

Addiction Treatment

There are many ways of treating addiction. People who require addiction treatment can consider each of the following options as a way of treating their addiction:

  • Detoxification
  • Medication-Assisted Therapy
  • Therapy (Group, Cognitive, Recreational or Family)
  • Stress Tolerance
  • Medication and Withdrawal Management

There are numerous other addiction treatment plans available. It is important to understand that managing the triggers of addiction, such as stress and stressful environmental factors, is essential in creating a successful addiction treatment plan. In addition to residential treatment plans, there are after-rehabilitation support groups that can share and compare addiction treatment journeys to ensure a sense of accountability and encouragement among those with stress and addiction.

At Quest 2 Recovery, the addiction recovery program starts with detoxification and ends with aftercare planning, to ensure that recovery continues to be a part of your life even as you leave the rehabilitation center. While stress might trigger your addiction, Quest 2 Recovery can give you the tools to find healthier ways of coping with your stress.  Contact us today if you or a loved one are struggling with addiction.

5 Signs It’s Time To Intervene

Addiction will not only affect the life of an addict, but also those around them. Alcohol and drug addiction can break families, leaving lives in wrecks.

You might be having someone battling drug or alcohol addiction, and you don’t know how to help. In most cases, talking to the victim might not provide excellent results. That is because the majority of people suffering from addiction are still in denial about their addiction state. In that case, doing an intervention for a person strolling with drug or alcohol abuse is the best solution. It will help the victim to transition into the treatment procedure safely and swiftly. Before you stage the intervention, make sure you invite a doctor to help you through the process. Also, have non-attacking letters to your loved ones, and have a treatment plan in case the victim refuses to get help.

Importance of intervention

  • Assists the victim to realize that alcohol and drugs have become a life-threatening threat
  • Identifies addition or abuse as a medical disorder
  • Offers an alternative for instant treatment
  • Determines what will be affected in a relationship, at work, at home if the victim refuses to be helped

Timing

Addiction can be a life-threatening event to the individual battling with alcohol or drug dependence and the family as well. But, what is the perfect time to perform an intervention to increase the chances of getting the required results?

The ideal time to stage an intervention is determined by:

  • The capability of the participants to come together for the intervention
  • When the victim is sober and available
  • When it’s evident that the victim’s life is in danger
  • Let’s look at the signs; it’s time for an intervention.
  • The victim’s destructive behavior subjects his or her family at risk

People struggling with addiction encounter challenges related to taking care of their families. In most cases, they engage in vicious habits, like passing out and overdosing. They might also endanger other family members by driving under the influence or using drugs in the presence of kids.

Once you start to see an increased incidence of failure to make informed decisions about their health or your own, it’s the right time for an intervention. In most cases, drug or alcohol abuse will escalate before getting better.

Failure to tell the truth

Where they spend their free time is a secret to you, and you don’t know the substance they are using. Once you realize that your loved one is trying to dodge the truth, ensure you understand why. Addiction tends to create a physical and chemical dependency that makes it hard to make the right decisions. However, your loved one realizes they are doing something wrong by using the substance. Drug or alcohol abuse triggers lies that build upon each other and worsens over time.

The use of substance becomes uncontrollable

The consumption of drugs or alcohol will increase as the abuse of these substances worsens. You might various signs of a controlled level of consumption like:

  • Making stopover to get a drink on when going home from work and coming home late
  • Using the drugs in the morning
  • The urge to look for more drugs since what they have is not enough

Typically, those with addiction find themselves creating tolerance faster. That means they want drugs with more intense effects to get a similar feeling.

They act or look sick

Those with addiction problems strive to make it a secret. While some might think they are successful, they will feel horrible most of the time and look sick. You might realize they don’t wear clean or wrinkle-free clothes anymore. They will also look pale and appear to have lost a lot of weight.

Remember that you might notice mental health changes like being east to anger or avoiding other family members.  That withdrawn personality is a symptom of addiction, indicating that they need help.

The financial hardship is worsening

Maintaining a substance abuse condition is a costly affair. You might be struggling to balance your cost and finding it hard to make ends meet. The victim might go to work, and your revenue might be the same, but his or her bank account is always dry. You might also realize that your loved one is finding it hard to maintain a job. This will result in financial hardships like having their assets repossessed. Your loved one might also be lending money frequently and promising to pay back, but defaulting later on.

Final word

Before you decide to stage an intervention meeting, make sure you have a plan. You need to understand what issues you need to address and rehearse saying them without any anger. Being accusatory and raising your voice towards the addiction treatment victim will push them away. You can invite an interventionist in the event the situation worsens. Make sure there is a treatment plan such that the victim will be admitted right after the intervention.

 

The Benefits of Inpatient Rehab

An inpatient, residential treatment program has significant benefits that cannot be matched by an outpatient approach when it comes to addiction, no matter how well-constructed the outpatient approach might be. This is because there are no gaps between treatment phases with inpatient rehab, the environment is controlled, and the patient doesn’t have much in the way of practical ability to fall back to the addiction. This, in turn, allows for a smooth move from detox to recovery therapy as a result.

Patients who are assigned or choose the inpatient approach are going to find that the structure works in their favor. The potential for peers bringing them temptation is reduced to almost none, and they have the ability to finally focus on getting past withdrawals. Further, there is constant monitoring and medical support, unlike at home when the detox phase gets really bad before it starts to improve. For those who have been addicted for a lengthy period of time, the inpatient approach is absolutely a must for a successful break of the addiction. Time and again, long term recovery happens more often and with greater permanency when inpatient treatment is applied.

The benefits of inpatient treatment are threefold:

  • Physical
  • Psychological
  • Emotional

The Physical Improvement

There’s no question, the first break in the addiction cycle is to get past the physical demand for the addiction that keeps a patient in a downward spiral. Fundamentally, the addiction break is ultimately made mentally, but the body has to be released from its addiction hold first. That generally happens best in a medical environment where the patient can be kept separate from addiction material, but he or she can also be cared for if the withdrawal process itself creates a medical hazard (which happens sometimes with certain addictions such as opioids for example). Each addiction is tracked and prepared for so that the patient receives the right care needed during the detox phase.

The other big aspect of physical benefits is the literal separation from what the patient is addicted to. There is no guarantee this can competently occur with an outpatient drug rehab approach. With an inpatient process, however, the harshness of the withdrawals can be addressed with immediate medical help, allowing the patient to relax and get through the cravings. This won’t happen at home or in an outpatient scenario; the patient either has to make it through to the next office day or go to the local emergency room. Neither usually happens in a lot of cases. In extreme withdrawals reactions, a licensed medical professional can guide the treatment hands-on with inpatient cases, resolving the reaction before it gets bad.

The Mental Improvement

The fundamental presence of addiction involves a mental capitulation to the addiction. So, the patient has to be convinced that it can be broken and recovery is possible for recovery to stick. However, everyone is different, so a cookie-cutter approach doesn’t necessarily work. Inpatient programs can align the right psychological treatment to the patient. This is critical because many times other conditions tend to go hand-in-hand with addiction. Depression, nervousness, attention deficit disorder, PTSD, bipolar disorder and even schizophrenia can be coupled with addiction. Again, an outpatient approach won’t necessarily spot these issues or even provide treatment at all. An inpatient treatment, on the other hand, can accurately identify parallel issues present in a given patient and couple psychological treatment with the physical medical help during detox and recovery phases. This approach can also put the patient on the right long-term track of psychological treatment as well.

The Emotional Passage

Detox and recovery can be scary. And what makes us human involves our emotions. Fear, stress, anger, sadness, and disillusionment all find their root in emotions. But so do hope, happiness, joy, passion, and confidence. Inpatient treatment helps patients move from one end of the emotional spectrum to the other. And when patients achieve the most important step, building up confidence that their recovery is possible, then the addiction break sets in. The patient realizes he or she is not alone, support is right nearby, and they are not lost. The downward spiral can be reversed. And it’s possible to think about tomorrow again.

A Center That Combines All 3 Benefits

Located in Lancaster, CA, Quest 2 Recovery involves a holistic approach to breaking the addiction and providing recovery treatment. With a focus on healing the body, mind, and spirit at the same time, the program provides an effective inpatient approach that can be customized to each individual addiction case. The goal is to break the internal personal lock of addiction, not just the physical craving. By identifying the real causes and providing a complete treatment, Quest 2 Recovery provides a far more successful approach for addiction recovery than many other options. When you or a loved one needs a completed substance abuse program, it’s time to call Quest 2 Recovery for help.

Treatment Programs Specific to Alcohol Abuse

Alcoholism and alcohol use disorder is often described as a downward spiral. The alcoholism leaves a person miserable, who then seeks more alcohol to feel better, only getting worse instead. The vicious circle destroys health, careers, relationships, friendships and ultimately family bonds. No surprise, many patients literally feel like they can’t see a light at the end of the tunnel anymore. Fortunately, even the worst of alcohol addictions can be helped. A number of treatment approaches are available, and patients can get back to a healthy, normal life again.

Factors Contributing to Addiction

Many times, alcoholism and alcohol abuse don’t occur on their own. Multiple factors and elements can put a person in a vulnerable position to develop a drinking addiction. These include medical conditions, psychological factors, family issues, personal history, career pressures, stress, social issues and more. As a result, an effective alcohol addiction treatment program needs to approach patient treatment as a multi-factored approach versus just trying to treat the physical addiction alone.

The Difference in Professional Treatment

A professional approach to treatment will involve a well-trained medical specialist team that works best out of a rehabilitation program and facility. Even if the treatment will be outpatient, medical specialists are essential to identify the nature, scope, and extent of addiction and how to customize the treatment for the specific needs of the individual. And, when one commits to an inpatient program, the support provided by such a team is 24/7, day and night, through the detox phase and smoothly into the recovery and sustaining phase.

Real Recovery is Rooted in the Mind

However, even with the best help, people have to remember that recovery from alcoholism and alcohol abuse is very much a process, not a simple treatment reaction such as taking a pill for pain relief. Under half of the number of folks who try to achieve sobriety and recovery tend to relapse within a year of starting. Those who do succeed are able to do so because they engaged in ongoing counseling and group therapy for ongoing support.

Like any addiction, ultimately the recovery starts when the person realizes he or she needs to stop the condition and try to heal. This mental switch is essential for any physical recovery to begin as well as to continue. The recognition can happen in a number of ways. It can be self-induced. It can happen through family or friend intervention. Or many times it occurs through social response such as getting in trouble with the law or suffering negative career impacts due to alcoholism. Whichever the case, when the person begins to accept help is needed, the detox and recovery phases can begin.

Getting Treatment and Types

There is no bad time to start trying to get treatment. Ideally, as soon as an addiction is identified, treatment should be sought. However, many times folks have been addicted for a long time before it became a serious problem. And such conditions come with complicated relational problems such as financial problems, family disorder, marriage dissolution, legal problems, career problems and more.  This can make a person feel like treatment needs to wait until the other problem is solved, but in reality, the treatment should come first. And that starts by reaching out to medical experts for help.

As mentioned earlier, there are multiple ways treatment can be applied. These include:

  • Alcoholism Detoxification – Probably the most recognizable treatment, this phase involves the separation of the individual from the physical effects of alcohol so the patient can break from the physical cravings. It involves separation, withdrawals, medical treatment for symptoms, and re-establishment of physical health. Many times patients suffer physical reactions to the detox process, which is why the close monitoring of medical experts is essential for success. Otherwise, patients frequently seek out their addiction for quick relief.
  • Inpatient Rehabilitation – This type of treatment involves a combination of detox, medical treatment and recovery help all in one. The patient is contained in a medical facility with expert medical staff on hand, and he or she goes through a full process that can take weeks or even months before an initial recovery condition is reached. The benefit is that the care provided is 24/7 and doesn’t allow the patient to quickly seek relief through the addiction again. It tends to be the most successful method of physical “drying out” for patients.
  • Alcoholism Counseling – Because the mental condition ultimately drives or loses recovery, alcohol counseling is a long-term followup treatment approach that keeps providing support for individuals to stay away from the physical sources of their addiction. To work out the problems that drove them to alcohol abuse, and to provide peer support. A therapist guides the counseling and group sessions often give patients a peer outlet for emotional and mental release. This, in turn, builds resilience and the confidence to stay away from relapse.

Quest 2 Recovery in Lancaster CA provides a Southern California comprehensive approach to alcohol abuse addiction treatment. It is designed as a holistic treatment that insures both short-term and long-term treatment are applied specific to the individual needs of the patient versus cookie-cutter recipe. When you or a loved one realize it’s time for help, Quest 2 Recovery is ready to help. Contact them today for more information.

How To Reach Out For Help While Struggling With Addiction

Facing Facts

One of the most damaging things about addiction is how it alienates us from those who care about us the most. It’s difficult enough admitting we have a problem for ourselves, let alone those around us. We may go through cycles of guilt and despair, determination and denial, almost ready to reach out but somehow never quite doing it.

The climb to recovery is not a journey to be taken alone. Asking for help is essential to breaking those cycles and genuinely moving a better direction. And yet… it can seem so difficult! How do we reach out, even when we don’t feel like we can?

1. Stop focusing on blame, guilt, regret, etc.

There will be plenty of time to feel whatever you feel once you’re getting help and working through your recovery. Right now, all that self-hate and doubt is just getting in the way. We live in a society still trying to break free of a shame-driven past; not everything we believe about ourselves is based on reality so much as our collective cultural baggage.

You may not be able to turn those thoughts and feelings completely off, but you can make the decision to ignore them for two minutes – long enough to reach out. Who could you call if you weren’t overwhelmed with those feelings for a few moments?

2. Let someone else be the “good guy.”

One of the excuses we make when we should be asking for help is that our partner won’t understand, or our family will be so disappointed, or our friends don’t need to be burdened by us. That mindset doesn’t really give the people around us enough credit. Most people want to help, especially if they know what’s needed. Most people want to be useful and to do right by those around them. Wouldn’t you do it for them?

You’ve probably helped someone move, listened while they talked through a big decision, or fed their dog while they were out of town. If sobriety starts with asking someone to make a few calls or drive you to an appointment, is that really asking so much in return?

3. Try someone professional.

If coming clean with those closest to you seems impossible, try someone outside your immediate circle. Talk to your family doctor, even if that’s not what the appointment was originally scheduled to be about. Tell your chiropractor, or lawyer, or pastor, or dentist. Talk to the nurse or even the receptionist. Maybe your workplace benefits include some sort of helpline or referral service.

I promise you, most people get it. They read the research. Primary care folks, especially, have heard it all. They don’t judge. In fact, they want to help; that’s why they became doctors and nurses.

4. Try someone far away.

This is the age of social media and long-distance communication. It might be easier to start with a friend who no longer lives in the area or a family member you don’t see as often. Even reaching out to a “virtual friend” is better than not reaching out, although it’s harder to predict how involved they’re willing or able to be.

Who could you message right now?

5. Seek help online.

If you do a search for “addiction recovery” or “help getting sober” or any variation thereof, you’ll be inundated with more results than you can possibly use. Some will be promoted links (paid ads) – and that’s OK, as long as they’re legitimate organizations. If your search engine does its job, many of the real results will be close to where you live or work – and that’s even better.

Pick one. Open the link. Click the ‘Chat Now’ button or find the phone number which is most likely in a large font near the top of the page. This is what they do. If they can’t help you directly, they can probably help connect you with someone who can.

6. Put it in writing.

Sometimes an email or handwritten note sets us free when speaking face-to-face just feels impossible. If you start writing and a dozen pages of confessions and fears and hopes and apologies pour out, that’s completely fine. It’s also OK if you grab an index card and barely manage “I can’t stop ___________. I need your help.”

Hit send. Tape it to their mirror or laptop. Drop it in the mail. You don’t need to redo it or edit it; you need to share it.

7. Send them this article.

If you can’t think of any other way to say it, cut N paste the link to this page and tweet it, email it, message it. No need to elaborate. You did it.

If you’re receiving this from someone, they need you. Thanks for stepping up.